This morning I was reconsidering the following statement I wrote in the previous post:
This project recognizes that increased visibility and representation of both indigenous and immigrant populations in the Mid-South is a critical first step in undoing the dehumanizing of colonization that allows for the continued discriminating and marginalizing of both groups.
Does a project that exists as a result of colonialism, that seeks to undo the harm of colonialism, get to call itself a “decolonized” space?
Frantz Fanon wrote that “decolonization, as we know, is a historical process; that is to say it cannot be understood, it cannot become intelligible nor clear to itself except in the exact measure that we can discern the movements which give it historical form and content.” Colonization isn’t a moment, or a series of events. It’s an insidious ongoing process of slips and gains, giving and taking, complicity and coercion. It is a process, one so embedded in thinking and ways of knowing, that it is only by studying it that we can avoid replicating it.
All this to say that I’ve decided to be OK with the above statement. Perhaps one day we will get to a place where it doesn’t need to be said, but for now I think intentionally creating a space that hopes to undo the racism, discrimination, and marginalization of indigenous and immigrant people meets the decolonizing mission.